But enough of all that, what’s on TV?

With all this travel and book blogging lately some of you may think that I have forgotten how to watch TV. Fear not my friends. My love of good and bad TV is alive and well. The TiVo was humming away during the 16 days we were out of town so there has been a lot of catch up viewing over the past week. And being that it is still the summer season, reality TV takes up the lion’s share of my time. In fact, only one scripted show even makes an appearance on this list

This dramedy on HBO continues to entertain. All of the characters seem to be on an upswing lately which I like much better than when things are going poorly. Turtle has definitely lost weight since last season. But you know, the show is so darn short. I think they could easily fill an hour or at least 45 minutes, heck how about a full 30 minutes. It seems like once you subtract out opening and closing credits the show is only 2o minutes. That may be fine for broadcast TV, but I want more from HBO.

Real Estate Intervention
Ah, the overinflated DC housing market is finally waking up to reality. Each week Mike Aubrey is the truth talking real estate agent that tries to set the record straight for desperate but clueless house sellers who think it is their god-given right to make money on their house, rather than just live in it. Mike is a breath of fresh air.

Project Runway
Finally, the creme of the reality crop is back on the air. After a legal battle between Bravo and Lifetime, the show is back on and as good as ever. I am not sure I like the move to LA over NYC, but it seems okay enough. Although it does appear harder for some judges to make it to the tapings. Michael Kors has been missing a few times, and the usually ever present Nina Garcia has even missed a show. But other than that the show continues to be a fantastic look at the creative process. I think the contestants are much better across the board this season. There are fewer, perhaps even none of the “I don’t sew” or “I don’t sketch” types this time around. And it is harder to decide who should go home because the bads just are as bad as they have been in past seasons.

Top Chef
The food version of Project Runway, it too has a much more consistent caliber of talent this season. Usually by the first episode you can pick who are going to end up in the top three. This time it is a little harder. Although if I were a betting man I would put it on the two brothers and the woman who works for Eric Ripert.

Real Housewives of Atlanta
Where in the hell do these women get their money? On the other housewife shows (excluding New Jersey, I didn’t really watch it and I am afraid to ask where they get their money) you can kind of see where they money comes from. On the Atlanta show, not so much. Newcomer Kandi is the outlier. You know where she gets her money, she is a grammy-winning singer/songwriter who used to be in the group Xscape and still writes for big names. She also seems like the only one in the bunch who has some manners and isn’t a big ol’ b****. So when completely talentless Kim or NeNe compare themselves to Kandi? Or in NeNe’s case try to question Kandi’s talent. Give me a break NeNe, the woman has gotten rich and won a grammy on her talent. What was it you do again? And Kim, has added a Bently to her Escalade, is dripping in diamonds, has an assistant and a nanny…and she pays for it how? Do her giant boobs generate electricity that she sells back to the power grid? Sheree, despite her financial situation, is still as clueless as ever and seems to spend money like crazy. Lisa sometimes seems sane, but usually not for long.
What is wrong with these women is what is wrong with this country. A bunch of shallow, self-involved, overspending people screaming about respect and disrespect while they clearly have no idea what either word means. Wouldn’t miss an episode.

Flipping Out
Everyone’s favorite OCD house flipper is back on. Except the housing market is in the toilet so he can’t flip at the moment and is doing renovation work. He continues to drive his friends and staff crazy, and he overreacts about many things. And no doubt, in real life he must be a huge challenge to be around. But at the base of it all he actually seems like a genuinely nice, upstanding guy. If you can tolerate his aggressive sense of humor and need to control everything.

House Hunters International
The international version of House Hunters is tolerable in a way that the original show is not thanks to the foreign locations. The show’s formula and host can be just as annoying as the original program but it is fun to see what’s for sale in Umbria, Bali, and New Zealand (to name a few) rather than the cookie cutter houses they seem to focus on in the US version. There was one beautiful, huge, Parisian style apartment in Buenos Aires for $175,000 that made me want to move to the Southern Hemisphere. And then we look at the house listings in DC and just get depressed.

40 by 40 Update: #26 Go a Month Without TV

(Back in May of 2007 I noticed that a bunch of people in the blogosphere had created lists of 101 things to do in 1001 days. I was intrigued by the notion but felt I needed to change the parameters. So I created my 40 by 40 list. 40 things I wanted to do before I turned 40. Well on August 17th I turn 40, and I need to give $10 to charity for every uncompleted item. So it is time to see how I did.)

26. Go a Month Without TV – NOT COMPLETED
Running Tally: $130.00 to charity.

I came close on this one. I stopped about 6 days short of a month. I have gone long periods in my life without TV but in those cases I actually didn’t have a TV in the house. That makes a big difference. I also decided to forgo other time wasters like news and politics websites, Facebook, and Freecell. All of this might have been okay, but then John was gone for a week and I just got way too bored.

I still love the idea of having a media free month. But I think I will have to be tucked up in a secluded house/cabin/cottage somewhere with nothing but books and board games (and John). Trying to do it with everything swirling around you is a little tough.